You should not dream of becoming an immigration lawyer unless you understand what it takes to become the best professional. You need to learn about licensure requirements and education, average remuneration and job outlook for this career. Taking this approach will assist you to know whether the job is the right fit for you.
First, let us begin by understanding the role of an immigration lawyer. These are professionals who specialize in the resolution of legal issues that are related to immigration. Therefore, these professionals should read widely and understand the immigration laws that are applicable in different countries. Some of the legal issues that these experts handle include visa renewal and naturalization.
These lawyers must inform themselves of legal changes and new policies. Most of this information comes from the federal government. As an immigration lawyer, you can set up your personal practice or work for an existing firm. You may also specialize in working with immigrants from a particular region or country for you to become an expert. Getting the one who has specialized in your region is the best bet for any client. You need to understand the academic qualifications, Licensure, Job Outlook, and average salary before you start a career as an immigration lawyer. This article presents the seven steps you need to take before becoming an immigration lawyer.
Step One: Research the Career and Duties of Immigrations Lawyers
An immigration lawyer can assist immigrants to live and work in a foreign country by assisting them to obtain a Visa or Green Card, be granted political asylum or gain lawful permanent status. The Cornel Legal Information states that an immigration lawyer has to defend illegal immigrants and assist them to become naturalized citizens. Some of the duties may include meeting and interviewing clients, arguing cases in courts, writing motions and researching cases. As an immigration lawyer, you may need a Bachelors or doctoral degree and a state issued permit before you can begin to practice the profession.
Step two: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree
As an immigration lawyer, you will have to obtain a 4 year's Bachelor's Degree. For example, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends a multidisciplinary undergraduate education that emphasizes logical skills, research, and communication related classes. A good understanding of other cultures of the global politics and fluency in one or more foreign languages lays the best foundation for the immigration lawyer career. Therefore, you can consider minoring or majoring in modern languages or cultural studies in addition to taking courses that have a direct relationship with pre law. These trainings will lay the right foundation for pursuing a career as an immigration lawyer.
Step Three: Graduate from the School of Law
If you have the intention to operate in America, you must obtain the Juris Doctor Degree from any American Bar Association. Scoring high in the Law School Administration Test will work to your advantage. It will assist you to get an admission into the three-year law program. This requirement explains why you have to be serious with your studies from the word go.
You will take courses that cover different subjects in the first one and a half years. You will also study constitutional law and legal reasoning and how to analyze cases. You will be able to declare a concentration in immigration at this point. You can now move on and take specific courses in the field of immigration. Therefore, you start widely and begin to narrow down as you grow.
Step Four: Make sure you pass the Bar Exam
You cannot obtain licensure from the state where you intent to practice your career as an immigration lawyer unless you pass your Bar exam. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most states will expose you to a six hour Multistate Bar Exam. For example, anyone who wants to become an immigration lawyer Toronto must sit for the Toronto State's Bar Exam. This exam will test you on several aspects of the law. You may also be required to take a multistate performance Exam, an ethics exam, and a multistate essay exam. Exposure to all these exams will ensure that you understand your work as an immigration lawyer.
Step Five: Join an Immigration Lawyer Association
There is no specific path that is set before you become an immigration lawyer. However, there are some resources that can assist you on your journey. You can network with immigration law professionals, familiarize yourself with the immigration law community, and search for a job by joining the Immigration lawyer Association of your country. You can get contacts of some prospective clients if you join your local chapter. You will also get to meet other people who work in this field. You can learn so much and get several opportunities as you interact with other lawyers.
Step Six; Work with a Reputable Law Firm
At this point, you are ready to work with a reputable law firm within your region. Class work alone cannot develop you into the best immigration lawyer you would like to be. You need some hand on experience on the day to day work of this professional. You can even decide to volunteer from the state. You will gain a lot of experience on how to deal with various issues and handle cases. You cannot become an effective independent immigration lawyer unless you pass through this stage. Make sure you get a firm that will give you the most exposure in the industry. At this stage, concentrate more on developing your skills and not the money you are earning. This is the point that sees most professionals lose the target.
Open Your Law Firm
After gaining the relevant experience, you can now open your law firm. Take this step when you are sure that you have all it takes to work independently and even employ other people. This may be the most rewarding part of your career if you did not miss any step from the beginning. You will have several customers coming your way as long as you maintain high standards of integrity.